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Lines Written on a Bank Note

 

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation


Wae worth thy power, thou cursed leaf!
Fell source of a' my woe and grief,
For lack o' thee I've lost my lass,
For lack o' thee I scrimp my glass!
I see the children of affliction
Unaided, through thy curs'd restriction.
I've seen the oppressor's cruel smile
Amid his hapless victims' spoil
And for thy potence vainly wish'd
To crush the villain in the dust.
For lack o' thee I leave this much-lov'd shore,
Never, perhaps, to greet old Scotland more.

Woe befall your power, you cursed leaf!
Deadly source of all my woe and grief,
For lack of you I have lost my lass,
For lack of you I scrimp my glass (of drink)!
I see the children of affliction
Unaided, through your cursed restriction.
I have seen the oppressor's cruel smile
Amid his hapless victims' spoil
And for your potency vainly wished
To crush the villain in the dust.
For lack of you I leave this much loved shore,
Never, perhaps, to greet old Scotland more.

 

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